Sometimes, extraordinary situations requires extraordinary remedies, said Justice Devan Ramachandran while issuing important directives in a writ petition filed in 2008 raising the issue of pathetic road conditions in Kerala.
The writ petition was filed by one CP Ajithkumar and Kerala Merchants Union in 2008. When the writ petition came up for final hearing, it was urged that the situation of the roads has not merely bettered, but has drastically deteriorated. After hearing the submissions of Advocate General CP Sudhakara Prasad, the court issued the following directives:
Justice Devan observed that nothing has changed on the ground level inspite of court orders. The judge said:
Hapless citizens still spill blood and life in the craters and pot holes in roads – the incident of the unfortunate death of Sri. R.Umesh Kumar of Kochi being only the last of such but not the last ever, unless real and effective action is taken... Precious time, money and energy are being lost every day on our roads on account of tenuous queues of vehicles caught in traffic solely because of bad roads – the consequent avoidable loss of fuel, especially detrimental to our economy, which is already reeling from the natural disasters of this and last year.
With regard to the submission made by the Advocate General about the action taken by the Government in this regard, the court said:
No amount of excuses or reasons of any kind can justify even the loss of one life or injury solely because of bad roads.. Past experience has shown us that the main reason for the abject condition of roads is that repairs and maintenance are not done in time. A small pot-hole or crater that appears on an otherwise good road is left unattended, thus leading it to become bigger, then crater like, finally deracinating the entire road. Any amount of causes may be cited for this, but the primary is often the indifference and callousness exhibited by the officials in charge of the roads.
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